Round 2… Fight! | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
Red's Army

Round 2… Fight!

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Monday, May 4, 2009
8:00 pm ET
TD BankNorth Garden (Boston, MA)

Just two days after perhaps the most exciting first round series of
all-time, the men in green are back at it again. Boston will host the
Orlando Magic tonight at the Garden for Game 1 of the Eastern
Conference Semifinals. Still without Garnett, still without Powe, but
still fighting and still confident.

You thought the Bulls were tough? Orlando is better, and numbers prove
it. Stan Van Gundy's group finished third in the East this season with
an impressive 59-23 record, which was good for the fourth-best in the
league. In addition to that, only the Lakers posted a better record
away from home (29-12), as Orlando's 27-14 road record tied for
second-best with Cleveland and our beloved Celtics.

Orlando plays a different style than what we saw against Chicago. The
Bulls were young, aggressive, athletic, and tough off the dribble.
Orlando doesn't have as many options off the dribble, but they are one
of the most dangerous perimeter shooting teams we have in the game.
Guys like Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are deadly when they are hot,
and role players such as Rafer Alston and J.J. Redick can't be left
alone from beyond the arc, either. Alston has also done a much better
job of utilizing those perimeter options by opening things up with his

The guy you've really got to worry about is the big fella in the
middle, Dwight Howard. "Superman" changes the game in a lot of ways.
Not only is he the league-leading rebounder and shot blocker, as well
as the Defensive Player of the Year, but he is unquestionably the
game's most impressive physical freak of a specimen up front. He's
wide, he's strong, he can jump out of the gym, and he is extremely
powerful. The Celtics need to make sure that their interior group
avoids foul trouble as much as possible (especially Kendrick Perkins)
and makes Dwight Howard more of a creator than a garbage man. When
Howard isn't being bodied up, he gets free and collects offensive
rebounds, dunks the ball more than anybody in the league, and virtually
covers up his limited low-post arsenal. As long as the officials allow
the big boys to bang, Perk just might surprise the general public with
his work on Howard.

Boston took care of business against Orlando with Kevin Garnett in the
lineup, but dropped the last two meetings without him. They've got a
lot of questions to answer: Do the Celtics have enough gas left in the
tank? Who will defend Rashard Lewis? Can the Cs be physical with Howard
and avoid foul trouble at the same time? Will Rajon Rondo be
intimidated by Howard's interior presence? Will the real Paul Pierce
stand up?

However, so does Orlando. Will Hedo Turkoglu's sprained left ankle
continue hold him back? Can Dwight Howard dominate the glass to the
point where Orlando can control the tempo of the series? Can Orlando
defend Paul Pierce and/or Ray Allen? Can they steal homecourt from
Boston? And most of all, will Orlando live or die by the three?

It's difficult to expect a series quite as epic as the last one, but it should be interesting nonetheless.

Regular Season Record: 59-23
Eastern Conference Seed: 3
Conference Quarterfinals Result: ORL 4, PHI 2

Projected Starters

Postseason Leaders
PPG: Dwight Howard (24.0)
RPG: Dwight Howard (15.8)
APG: Rafer Alston (4.8)
SPG: Courtney Lee (1.6)
BPG: Dwight Howard (2.8)

Regular Season Record: 62-20
Eastern Conference Seed: 2
Conference Quarterfinals Result: BOS 4, CHI 3

Projected Starters

Postseason Leaders
PPG: Ray Allen (23.4)
RPG: Kendrick Perkins (11.6)
APG: Rajon Rondo (11.6)
SPG: Rajon Rondo (2.7)
BPG: Kendrick Perkins (3.0)

Injury Report
Jameer Nelson (torn right labrum – out)
Courtney Lee (recovering from sinus surgery – out)
Kevin Garnett (right knee – out)
Leon Powe (torn ACL – out)

Keys to Victory

  • Close Off Penetration
  • Get Back On Defense After Missed Shots
  • Control the Defensive Glass
  • Take Care of the Ball
  • Ball Movement
  • Avoid Foul Trouble

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  • Lakerhater

    Great write up balla. Next time be sure to include some analysis on Van Gundy being the Marty Shottenheimer of the NBA. Always good regular season…always choke in the playoffs.
    Break out the kryptonite PERK!
    Celtics in 5.

  • Zauer

    This is the series in which refs can’t make mistakes. We all know that Perk will finish games with 4, 5 or 6 fouls, not less. So if they call 1 or 2 questionable fouls on him, he’s out and we watch Howard destroing Mikki or Scall having hard time with Lewis. 1 or 2 bad calls and refs may win game for Magic. Hope they don’t!
    Truth over Magic!

  • domz